Veterans, community servants inducted into Patriots Hall of Honor


By Donna Thornton/News Editor

Guests at the 39th annual Patriots Day induction ceremony heard a rousing speech from Command Sergeant Major Leon Caffie, heard stirring songs from Calhoun County Probate Judge Alice Martin and Brenda Emery and learned of the generous contributions made to country and community by the 2013 inductees into the Patriots Hall of Honor.

These new patriot honorees included the first-ever couple inducted in the Hall of Honor, along with six other World War II veterans (two inducted posthumously), three Vietnam veterans and one dedicated community servant.

Below are brief biographies of the patriots added to the Hall of Honor:

Ed and Alice Carrell

Ed Carrell served in the Navy, as yeoman on the U.S.S. Boyd under the command of Capt. Ulysses Grant Sharp from 1942-1946. He received the World War II Victory Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Area 10 stars, American Area, Philippines-Liberation 1 star, and the Good Conduct Medal. After serving, Carrell has been an involved in his community as a member of the Lions Club, Quarterback Club, and other civic organizations.

Alice Carrell served in the WAVES from 1944-1946. She was assigned to the office of the Chief of Naval Operations at the Department of the Navy in Washington, D.C.

She was discharged from the WAVES the same day her husband was discharged from the Navy. When the Carrells moved to Gadsden in 1958 they became active members of First United Methodist Church.

James G. Morgan

James Morgan served in the United States Marine Corps from 1944-1947. He began his service after basic at Parris Island, S.C. with a Military Police unit in Charleston then onto advanced combat training at New River, N.C., then on to San Diego, Calif. Morgan was sent to Iwo Jima, then on to Guadalcanal to join and train with the 22nd Marines, 6th Marine Division to prepare for the invasion of Okinawa. Morgan retired from Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company with 43 years of service.

Morgan has been a faithful member of Goodyear Heights Baptist Church for more than 50 years. He has served as a deacon, Sunday school teacher, and chaired several Pulpit search committees. Morgan is a member of VFW Post 2750, and a very active member of the McLaughlin Detachment, Marine Corps League where he supports their programs such as fundraisers for organizations including Toys-for-Tots and The Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Project.

Verlus “Buddy” Holliday

Verlus served in the United States Navy 1942-1946. He was a machinist and served on a mine carrier ship in Pearl Harbor overhauling Nautili’s class submarines, engines and equipment. He was then assigned to the USS Courtland APA 75 based out of Pleasanton, California. After Holliday’s discharge from the Navy, he returned to working for the family at Holliday grocery in Attalla, then Southern Hardware.  In the early 1950s he was the service officer for Etowah County Veterans Affairs, where he provided advice and service for many veterans.  He was Revenue Examiner for the Alabama Department of Agriculture, and later served as Agriculture Inspector until his retirement in 1998.

After retirement, Holliday joined the Egypt Volunteer Fire Department. At 89 years old he still serves his local community as a board member and active participant in emergency calls, driving and helping maintain the fire and response vehicles. He is also a member of the VFW, American Legion, Fair association, Forty and Eight.

James L. (Jim) Foreman

James served in the Army Air Corps 1942-1946. He served as a Military Policeman and was discharged at the rank of sergeant.  His awards included the American Theater Ribbon, World War II Victory Medal, and the Good Conduct Medal. 

After his service, Foreman worked as a fireman for the City of Gadsden and retired after 20 years of service at the rank of commander.  He also worked as a court bailiff for Circuit Judges J.B. Waid and later William Cardwell until 1995. He was elected for one term as commissioner. He retired in 2000.

Foreman is an active member in the Methodist Church where he has served on many committees. He also makes wooden crosses that can be given away for a donation to the food pantry. He is a member of the Lions Club, 32nd degree Mason, Zoma Shriner.

James E. Walker

James served in the United States Army 1943-1946. In 1943 he was stationed at Snedderton Heath USAAF Station 138. During his service he served as a POW guard in Germany, Austria, and Belgium. His awards included the European-African-Middle Eastern Service Medal, World War II Victory Medal, and the Good Conduct Medal.  

Walker has served as Librarian for the Nichols Library for 20 years.  In 1951 he and his wife joined Central Methodist Church of Gadsden where he has served on the Board of Stewards for 25 years and trustee for 10 years. He is a member of the Men’s Club, and Men’s Bible Class. James has been a member of the Masonic Lodge for 66 years. He assisted his wife in DAR in obtaining burial identification, a longtime member of the Alabama Cattlemen’s Association, and for 20 years he was a member and instructor of the Etowah County Bee Association.

Kay Moore

Kay, the director of Downtown Gadsden Inc., has unquestionable devotion to the community. Through her work through DGI, and the organizations she is a part of, she works hard to make Gadsden a place people want to come to and the residents proud of their city. Organizing First Friday and Third Thursday every month, and other events throughout the year just shows how much Kay wants to bring the community together. Kay is a member of First Baptist Church, Gadsden, on the Board of Directors of the Mary G. Hardin Center for Cultural Arts, City of Gadsden Planning Commission, Gadsden Lions Club, Board of Directors, Riverview Regional Medical Center, and on the board of the Gadsden-Etowah Patriots Association. 

John R. Tinker

Tinker served in the Alabama National Guard 1957-1959, Florida Army Reserve 1959-1962, and United States Army 1962-1988. During his service, he flew numerous hours and evacuated countless wounded soldiers from the battlefield. He was commissioned as a 1st Lieutenant after Vietnam then promoted to captain in 1970. In 1971, due to an involuntary separation of infantry officers, John elected to stay in the Army as a Staff Sergeant.  After assignments at Fort Gillem, Ga. and Fort Benning, Ga., he attended Sergeants Major Academy. Tinker was promoted to Sergeant Major and served in Fairbanks, AK until his retirement in 1988.

His awards include the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Air Medal (20th Award), Distinguished Flying Cross (1st OLC), Purple Heart, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (2nd OLC), Army Commendation Medal (2nd OLC), Army Good Conduct Medal (5th award), Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon (2), Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon (5), Armed forces Expeditionary Medal (Republic of Vietnam).

While serving overseas Tinker visited orphaned children and sponsored them with money and clothes that he obtained through charity events. He joined “Clowns of America” and a Clown Alley where he visited sick and injured children at the local hospitals. He became a certified Bowling Coach and taught children from ages 7-17 to bowl. While working at the Anniston Army Depot, he volunteered to assist in a depot wide annual charity drive called “Christmas Cheer,” he also obtained and refurbished 20 to 30 bicycles each year to be given to needy children. He is very active in Goodyear Heights Baptist Church.

Terry Collier

Terry served in the United States Army 1992-1996. He was stationed at Fort Carson, CO, with 1st BN 12th Inf. Reg. Mechanized as a Personnel Administration Specialist at the Battalion PAC office. While stationed there he worked as a SIDPERS clerk, making him responsible for accountability of soldiers in the battalion; as Finance Clerk, bearing the  responsible for making sure soldiers statuses were correct for pay purposes, that leave days were correct and ensuring soldiers were fed. He cross-trained other positions as well including legal and awards.

Collier was also the S1 driver for operations. During 4th ID realignment, he was one of the last soldiers to leave the battalion to ensure all transactions were complete and files were boxed up and sent off. He was then sent to Headquarters Battery, 2nd of the 17th Field Artillery, Camp Hovey, Korea as SIDPERS Clerk, then Fort Benning, GA and was honorably discharged in 1996.

His awards include the Army Commendation Medal (2nd Award), Army Achievement Medal (2nd Award), Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and the Army Service Ribbon.

He has been a member of the Gadsden Jaycees, VFW Post 10408, the McLaughlin Detachment Marine Corps League, and vice chairman of the Gadsden-Etowah Patriots Association. He volunteers three days a week at the GEPA office in addition to other work with the association.  Other volunteer work includes the Ola Lee Mize Patriots Park, Way of the Cross Soup Kitchen, and Booster Club President of Strut, USA. 


James B. “J.B.” Williams

James served in the United States Army from 1942-1945, 1950-1952. On Dec. 7, 1942, James entered the U.S. Army where he served in England and later in France from 1943-1945.  He was called back into U.S. Army in 1950 at the beginning of the Korean War.  His awards included the Bronze Star, World War II Victory Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Service Medal with 2 Bronze Stars, and the Good Conduct Medal. Williams worked at Gulf States Steel his retirement in 1993. He served as President of the Attalla Elementary School PTA and belonged to four different PTAs at one time, being active in all of them. He served as Secretary of the Etowah High School Band Parents Club for two years and was a constant worker in the band concession stand. James served as Secretary-Treasurer of the Southern Investment Club of Republic Steel for many years, and a member of American Legion Post 71. In 2004, he designed a granite monument for other service members for the Keener community, and was a volunteer guide in 1994 at the Cultural Arts center during the WWII Program “Lest We Forget.”

William Ray Igleheart

William served as Staff Sergeant in the Air Force during WWII on a B-17 Bomber.

The plane was shot down over Yugoslavia in 1944, forcing him to walk 12 miles through enemy occupied territory to the Adriatic Sea. He made his escape without any footwear.

At the age of 19, he left Gadsden High School join the Army Air Force. On a bombing mission over Blechhamer, Germany, he changed course to evade the Germans on barges in the Danube River in Austria.

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